Writing and publishing a book, at least a good one, takes a lot of time and effort. For some of us, this can be problematic because of a lack of motivation, confidence, or both. By the time my debut novel Dust on the Altar is published, I’ll have been working on it, off and on, for nearly four years. That’s a long time to stay hyped about something, and even longer to stay confident about it.
What follows is a list of 5 things that have helped me keep going, besides the fact that I want my book to be done, of course. I hope one or more of these will help you too.
Make a Positivity Folder.
Call it what you want, a folder with only nice things people have said about your work can help quiet that nagging voice that says “You can’t write.” YES, you can! and the proof is right there.
It doesn’t even have to be about your Work In Progress, positive comments about anything you’ve written in the past can be helpful. I wrote some Buffy: the Vampire Slayer fan fiction years ago, and those comments still make me smile today.
Try your hand at formatting.
Even if your manuscript isn’t completely done, format it. There’s lots of videos on how to do this in MS Word, which is free. So what if it’s not perfect? When I first formatted mine, seeing it all justified and pretty made me want to get it finished that much more.
Make a cover to judge by.
The first time I saw my professionally done cover I literally cried. Something about seeing my book’s title and my name on that beautiful cover made it feel suddenly real.
Be aware that making your cover too far in advance can be risky. Any number of things could change between first draft and finished, and you want your cover to represent your book as accurately as possible. That being said, there’s nothing like having your cover finished to motivate you to get the inside done. I’m willing to bet even a homemade one might work, if you put a good amount of time and effort into it.
Besides, having a finished cover, even a DIY one, will allow you to do my favorite motivation generator…
Photoshop is your friend.
Take your cover image and paste it into a picture of your favorite bookstore’s shelf (exactly in the position it will be once published), or paste it into the number one position in a screenshot of Amazon’s best seller’s list in your genre. (Harry Potter who?)
Make some fake marketing images.
Use Canva, Book Brush, or anything that helps you set up images for free. Sure your book won’t be ready for months, or even years, but seeing that pretty image, with your favorite quote, tag line, or “Release week only $.99” will help you imagine that you’re actually there. Bonus if you hate marketing, cause after working on one image all day, finishing your WIP will seem easy.
Thanks for reading. Let me hear from you, what are your favorite ways to stay motivated through to publication?